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The Nation

GOP Lawmakers Ask Ginsburg to Withdraw from Abortion Cases

March 19, 2004|By a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Thirteen Republican members of Congress on Thursday asked Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to withdraw from all future cases having to do with abortion because of her affiliation with the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.

The House lawmakers said in a letter to the liberal justice that they were concerned about her loaning her name and presence to the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored by the defense fund, because the fund often files legal briefs in cases before the high court.

"As legislators, we believe your actions call into question your ability to rule with impartiality on any case involving abortion," the lawmakers wrote.

Ginsburg, in a speech last week, defended her relationship with the group and said Supreme Court justices are reluctant to recuse themselves in individual cases because it could lead to tie votes in the high court.

The House Republicans who wrote Ginsburg are Joseph R. Pitts of Pennsylvania; Dave Weldon of Florida; Walter B. Jones and Sue Wilkins Myrick of North Carolina; Kevin Brady of Texas; Barbara Cubin of Wyoming; Paul Ryan of Wisconsin; W. Todd Akin of Missouri; Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Mike Pence of Indiana; Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland; Steve King of Iowa, and Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey.

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